(Scholarship Info) National Talent Search Examination (NTSE) | NCERT

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National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT)
National Talent Search Examination (NTSE)

National Talent Search Examination (NTSE) is one of the most prestigious competitive examination held in India for granting scholarships for students of Class X or equivalent.

 NTSE is conducted by the NCERT - National Council of Education Research and Training  which  was established by the Government of India in the year 1961. Tthey introduced National Science Talent Search (NSTS) Scheme, to find out the talented students in science and award them with scholarships. 

But after introduction of 10+2+3 pattern of education, the NSTS scheme also went under some change, it was renamed as National Talent Search Scheme (NTSS). Apart from science it gives importance to Social Sciences, Engineering and medicine as well. This Scheme awards 1000 scholarships of which 15% scholarships are reserved for Scheduled Castes and 7.5% for Scheduled Tribes candidates and 3% for Physically Challenged Group of students each year.

The purpose of this scheme is to identify brilliant students at the end of Class X and give them financial assistance in getting good education .For the selection year 2008, the NCERT will conduct the National Talent Search Examination at two levels i.e Class VIII and Class X on the basis of the examination conducted, 1000 scholarships will be awarded for each group of students.

Tthe selection of candidates for the awards became a two-tier process. The states and the Union Territories conduct the first tier Screening Examination known as State Level Talent Search Examination and the second process is the National Level Talent Search Examination.

Tthe candidates are subjected to two objective type written tests i.e,Mental Ability Test (MAT) and the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). Those candidate qualify these two tests are subjected to face-to-face interview. The final awards are made on the basis of composite scores obtained in the MAT, the SAT and the interview. 

The States have complete autonomy to conduct their written examinations. However, they are advised to follow the national pattern which comprised MAT and SAT. The pattern of examination for Class VIII and Class X will be common. The MAT, consists of 100 questions, each carry one mark. The SAT  paper will consist of 100 multiple choice questions. The number of questions shall be divided as 40 in General Science, 40 in Social Sciences and 20 in Mathematics

The scholarships under the present scheme are awarded to the candidates for pursuing courses in sciences and social sciences up to doctoral level and in professional courses like medicine and engineering up to second-degree level.


Rules and Regulations for Scholarship :The students studying in Sciences, Social Sciences and commerce are eligible to receive scholarship up to Ph.D. level where as the student studying professional courses in medicines, engineering, technology, management and law, are eligible to receive the scholarship up to second degree level. Languages and Course for Humanities are not considered for scholarships .Condition which need to be fulfilled for Scholarships are as follows:

1. General Eligibility Conditions

An Student is eligible for the scholarship provided he/she:

  1. Can Choose studies in approved courses.

  2. Maintains good conduct as certified by the Head of the College/Institution and continues his/her studies as a regular student.

  3. Inform prior taking a leave Does not absent himself/herself.

  4. Takes up studies on a Full time basis.

  5. Does not take up any job.

The NTS scholarship does not preclude the Student from accepting any other scholarship.

scholarship will not be available for studies abroad for any course.

Make sure one should claim for scholarship arrears before 12months else that will not be enterttained for the academic session for which one has applied for .

In case any awardee leaves his/her course of study within one month of registration/admission, no scholarship shall be paid to him/her.

If student is not able to appear at the examination due to illness, one should send the medical certificate through the Head of the Institution within three months of one’s falling ill. The duration of illness should be clearly certified by a specialist, who is a Registered Medical Practitioner.

He/She can join the next class/desired course within 3 months of the declaration of the result of the previous class/course. No change of course will be permitted.

Scholarship shall be deemed to be discontinued with any gap of one academic session in studies at any time due to any reason.

Scholarship once discontinued on the basis of the rules of disbursement of scholarship cannot be revived under any circumstances.

2 Eligibility and other conditions for continuation of Scholarship at +2 stage

The candidates shall commence subsequent to their clear promotion to class XI.

The student at the +2 stage or equivalent is payable for a maximum period of two years for studies in India only.

The student continuation of scholarships in the second year of the +2 stage should have at least 50% marks in aggregate in the first year of the +2 stage and clear promotion.

3 Eligibility and other conditions for continuation of scholarships at first Degree level courses

The student must obtain a minimum of 60% marks at the end of +2 stage or equivalent examination for continuation of the scholarship at the first degree level course in Basic Sciences, Social Sciences or a professional course in engineering, medicine, management or law.

The scholarship to SC/ST student will be paid after getting selected through Joint Entrance Examination (JEE), IIT and admitted in the one-year preparatory course for B.Tech. The scholarship will continue in 1st year subject to fulfillment of all the conditions laid down by respective IITs.

The continuation of scholarships in the second and subsequent years shall be subject to the following conditions:

  1. Clear promotion to the next class in first attempt with pass in all papers.

  2. At least 50% marks in aggregate at the internal examinations. However, the scholarship to MBBS candidates for internship will be given, only if one secures 60% or more marks in the final degree.

  3. In case the result is not declared in terms of marks and grades are given, these should be equivalent to at least 50% and above.

  4. In case an Institution / University does not conduct an annual examination after such a class, a certificate from the Principal/Head of the Institution would be acceptable to this effect that the overall performance of the awardee is 50% or above.

  5. In case of IITs and other institutions, which follow semester system of examination, the marks or an equivalent Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) at the end of an academic year will be considered.

An student has the option to change one’s discipline within the course, which one is pursuing Within or after completing one academic year without loss of any academic session. No change of discipline will be allowed during second or subsequent years. 

In case of four/five years integrated courses leading to Post-Graduation Degree the rate of scholarship in the last two years shall be at the P.G. rates and for the remaining period as per the under graduate rates. In such cases the scholarship during the third/fourth year would be paid at the P.G. rate only .

4 Eligibility and other conditions at second degree level course

An student must have passed final examination for securing a minimum of 60% marks or its equivalent grade after aggregating the marks for all the years in the university examination of the course.

The student shall be eligible to receive the scholarship in the second year only if he/she secures at least 50% marks at the end of the first year.

In case an institution has semester system of examination at this stage, the marks, grades or CGPA as the case may be, obtained by an awardee in the examination conducted at the end of an academic year, will be considered for continuation of her/his scholarship during the next year.

5 Eligibility and other conditions at M.Phil./Ph.D Stage

The student shall be eligible to receive scholarship during the pre-doctoral/M.Phil. courses provided these are an institutional requirement for Ph.D. work. The continuance of scholarship after this pre-requisite course shall be subject to the successful completion of it.

The student will be eligible to receive scholarship for doing research work leading to Ph.D./D.Phil. degree provided he/she passes M.A./M.Sc./M.Com./M.Phil course in the first attempt securing a minimum of 60% marks or its equivalent grade after aggregating the marks for all the years in the university examination of the course An awardee must begin research/pre-doctoral work within six months of the declaration of M.A./M.Com./M.Sc. result.

The scholarship shall be continued during the second and fourth year only if the guide certified that the work during the first and the third year respectively has been of high quality.

The student can take up a teaching assignment for a short period not exceeding more than six months only with in the tenure of four years with the prior permission of the NCERT only if his/her supervisor certify that his/her assignment is not prejudicial to his/her progress.

The student will be entitled to the scholarship for Ph.D. up to a period of four years ordinarily. If he/she submits the thesis/dissertation before four years period is over but continues to work on the same problem on which he/she has written the thesis/dissertation under the same supervisor, he/she will be entitled to the scholarship up to the viva-voce or the end of four years whichever is earlier.

6 Contingency grant for Ph.D. work

The grant shall be utilized with the approval of the supervisor.

The grant may be utilized on apparatus, chemical, equipment, books, journals, Photostat copies, microfilms, typing, postage and field work/travel (within India only) needed in connection with the approved research project with the approval of the supervisor and the University where the scholar works.

The grant shall not be used for payment of examination or any other fees.

On termination of the scholarship, the apparatus and other non-consumable articles purchased out of the contingency grant will become the property of the Institution/University where a scholar works.

Travel allowance for approved field work/travel in connection with the research work (including attending of relevant academic/research conferences and symposia) shall be admissible according to the rules applicable to the teaching staff of the University.

The contingency grant for the first year of the research will be released to the Head of the University concerned along with the scholarship for the first year.

The amount left unspent at the end of each year of the scholarship tenure will be adjusted against the contingency grant payable for the subsequent year. If any amount left unspent out of the contingency grant on the date of expiry / termination / relinquishment of the scholarship will be refundable to the NCERT.

Scholarship Rates

  • The rates of scholarship at different stages are given as under:


For the income group up to Rs. 1,50,000 per annum

Rate of Scholarship available as shown in  Rule4.7 (i)


For income group above Rs. 1,50,000 per annum

50% of the rate of scholarship available as shown in Rule 4.7 (i) (In case of salaried group the benefit of standard deduction will also be applicable)

  • The rates of scholarship shall vary according to the income of the parents in the following manner.

The awardee will have to submit income certificate / income affidavit of his/her parents for the preceding financial year at the time of submitting the claim in the beginning of each course if parents’ income is below 1,50,000/- p.a. while submitting the claim form.

A simple declaration from the awardees whose parents’ income is beyond the limit will be enough for claiming 50% scholarship.

Mode of Payment

The payment of scholarship shall not be made direct to the awardee. The payment shall be made only through the Head of the Institution concerned.

The payment of scholarship shall be made to the Institution on the receipt of a bill from the awardee on a prescribed document sent to the NCERT through the Head of the Institution and accompanied by the academic progress report of the earlier year.

The scholarship shall commence from the month an awardee joins the Institution and shall continue up to the month prior to the month of his/her leaving studies subject to the condition for the maximum period of duration of the specific course.

The Institution shall be paid the scholarship in lump sum in advance for a total period of 12 months. The awardee shall, however, get his/her scholarship on a monthly basis at the end of each month.

The payment of scholarship during leave shall be governed by relevant leave rules.

Leave Rules Applicable to all the Awardees

Leave must be got sanctioned from the Head of the Institution/Department before it is availed of. Any absence from studies/research without leave shall lead to discontinuation of scholarship.

Generally no leave with scholarship shall be granted to awardees except on medical grounds. Medical leave up to a maximum of four months in an academic year shall be admissible, if recommended by a competent medical authority, as Full scholarship if the absence does not exceed two months, Half scholarship for a further period of two months, No scholarship for the absence beyond four months.

For married women, scholarship will be admissible at full rates up to three months, for absence on grounds of maternity.

The awardees working at the Ph.D level shall, however, be allowed casual leave with scholarship up to a maximum of 30 days in an academic year. The Ph.D. Supervisor will grant this leave.

Applications for medical leave, including maternity leave, should be referred to the NCERT within a fortnight of the illness / Confinements.

Selection Procedure

Identification of talent comprises of a two-stage selection process. While the individual State/UT conducts the first stage selection, the second stage selection at the national level is carried out by the NCERT.

State Level Examination

Each State/UT conducts its own examination and are  required to recommend a given number of candidates for the second level test to be conducted by the NCERT. This number is based on the enrolment of States/UTs at the secondary stage. The candidates are to be recommended on the basis of merit. The written examination are conducted by SCERT (State Council of Education Research and Training).

The state level screening examination is conducted in all states/UTs on Fourth Sunday of November except in Nagaland, Manipur, Meghalaya and Mizoram where it will be conducted on fourth Saturday of November every year

 Eligibility : All students studying in Class X in any type of recognized school including Kendriya Vidyalaya, Navodaya Vidyalaya, Sainik School etc. will be eligible to appear at the State Level Examination from the State in which the school is located. The state may impose other eligibility conditions for appearing in the screening examination like any qualifying percentage of marks in the previous annual examination etc.

 How to Apply : The students studying in Class X should look out for any advertisement in the newspapers or circular in the school by the respective Government of their State/UT for the above said examination and act as per the requirement given in the State advertisement/circular. Any other information / query about the details of the state level examination may be had from Liaison officers of the Stage agencies. The student will submit the filled in application form to the State Liaison officer through the Principal of the school before the due date as advertised / circulated by each concerned State / UT.

Medium of Examination : The medium of the test shall be as announced by the State/UT.

Fee : State may impose any fee for examination and/or for application form.

Examination : State level examination may have two parts: Part-I Mental Ability Test (MAT) and Part-II Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) for nominating the required number of candidates for the second level test to be conducted by the NCERT.

Results : The State/ Union Territory will prepare a merit list of the candidates ensuring the minimum qualifying marks in both the tests separately. These marks are 40% in the case of general category candidates and 32% in the case of SC/ST candidates. The result of State Level Talent Search examination is declared by the State /UT. No correspondence will be entertained by the NCERT.

The candidates having any query/ complaints/ clarification with regard to the State level examination shall have to correspond only with the State examination agencies.

National Level Examination

Eligibility : Only sponsored student by States/UTs on the basis of State-Level screening test shall be eligible to appear in the National-Level examination conducted by the NCERT. It is is open for students of Indian nationality whether they study in India or abroad at Class X level.

a) Candidates Studying in India : Only the candidates selected by the States/UTs on the basis of their screening examination shall be eligible to appear in the National level examination to be conducted by the NCERT on the Second Sunday of May each year (change will be notified). The NCERT will convey the roll number, the venue, the date and time for the national level examination to all such candidates directly through registered mail.

b) Candidates studying Abroad :  Students of Indian nationality studying abroad at the Class X level may also compete for Talent Search Award under the following conditions:

The Indian students studying abroad in class X or equivalent class shall be exempted from the first level-screening test and shall be permitted to appear directly at the second level examination conducted by the Council. 

A candidate shall be eligible to appear in the second level NTS examination only if he or she has obtained at least 60 per cent marks (in aggregate) at the previous annual examination. 

A candidate will have to appear in the NTS examination at a centre in India at her/his own cost. 

A candidate desiring to appear in the NTS examination may request through the Head of the Institution where he or she is studying along with an attested copy (by the Head of the Institution ) of  the mark sheet of Class IX. The request should reach the Head, Department of Educational Measurement and Evaluation, NCERT, New Delhi-110016 latest by 31st March of the concerned year. 

The Council shall allot roll numbers to the eligible student and inform them about the date, time and the venue of examination along with other related instructions. 

No request for change of Centre shall be entertained.

A candidate shall have to attend an interview, if he/she qualifies for the same, in India at his/her own cost.

If a candidate is selected, the scholarship shall be paid for pursuing studies in India only.

Syllabus : There is no prescribed syllabus for the NTS examination. However, the standard of items shall be conforming to the level of class X Public Examinations.

Scheme of Testing : The scheme of testing is under three section Mental Ability Test (MAT), Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and Interview

Scholarship Rates : The rates of scholarships at different stages are.. Click here for more information



No. of Items

Maximum Marks

Qualifying Marks

Gen. Category

SC/ST Category

Mental Ability Test (MAT)

90 minutes





Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)

90 minutes






15-20 minutes



No qualifying marks

Written Examination : The written examination shall consist of Part-I MAT and Part-II SAT. Both the tests will be administered separately with a short interval in between.

a)  Mental Ability Test (MAT) : There shall be 100 multiple-choice type items, with five alternatives. Each item will carry one mark. Candidates are required to answer the items on a separate answer sheet as per instructions given both in the test booklet and on the answer sheet.

b) Scholastic Aptitude Test : The Scholastic Aptitude Test will consist of 100 multiple-choice items of one mark each. Each item shall have four alternatives, out of which only one will be the correct answer. There shall be 40 items from Sciences, 40 from Social Sciences and 20 from Mathematics. In Science, there will be items from Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Similarly, in Social Sciences there will be items from History, Geography and Civics. The items in Mathematics will cover Algebra, Arithmetic, Geometry, Trigonometry, Statistics and Menstruation. Candidates are required to answer the items on a separate answer sheet to be provided at the examination centre as per instructions.

Important Note: -The question booklets of both the tests (Mental Ability Test and Scholastic Aptitude Test) are official documents. The candidate will be required to return them along with the answer-sheets at the end of the examination. These booklets will not be given to anybody even after the examination is over and will be returned to the NCERT.

Medium : The medium of examination shall be English or Regional Languages as provided in the Constitution of  India.  The language, in which a candidate desires to take the test, has to be mentioned in the application form filled for the state level examination. Accordingly, the question booklet in that language shall be made available to the candidate at the centre. After exercising this option, no request for the change of medium will be entertained.

Allotment of Roll Numbers: The NCERT shall convey the roll numbers to the candidates for the second level examination directly. In case there is any change of address prior to the National level examination, it shall be obligatory on the part of the candidate to communicate the same to the state examining authority, which in turn shall inform the NCERT.  In case there is any change of address after the candidate has received the admission letter for second level examination the same may be communicated to the NCERT directly.

Venue, Date and Time of the Test : The admission letter shall have all the information about the venue, the roll number, the date and time of the test.

Submission of Photograph :The admission letter issued to the candidate shall contain Admission Card to be filled in by the candidate. She/he shall have to attach an attested passport size photograph at the appropriate place in the Admission Card. This form shall have to be submitted to the Centre Superintendent on the day of the National level examination.

The Centre Superintendent, at his or her own discretion in special cases, may admit a candidate without photograph. However, a candidate shall have to submit an attested photograph to the Centre Superintendent immediately after the examination, which he shall forward to the NCERT.

Centre of Examination : Normally the candidates belonging to a particular state shall be allotted the centre in the same state. There is only one centre in each state for the National level examination.

The conduct of examination at the centers shall be done under the supervision of the Centre Superintendent appointed by the NCERT in consultation with the Government of the State/UT. An independent observer for each centre is also appointed by the NCERT

Change of Centre : Only in exceptional cases under special circumstances, like the transfer of the parents of the candidates, the centre of examination may be changed on a written request received by the NCERT within 15 days of the issue of the Admission Card. However, it may be noted that in such cases only the English medium test booklet shall be provided to the candidate at the changed centre.

Conduct of Examination : The Centre Superintendent shall conduct the examination on the date and time of examination as announced by the NCERT. He/she will follow instructions for the conduct of the examination as supplied by the NCERT. For various eventualities like the late coming, malpractice, use of helper (in case of blind or sick candidates) and in respect of other cases not covered by the instruction from NCERT, the Centre Superintendent shall follow the rules prevalent for the Board Examination of the State concerned.

Marking : Each item in both the tests shall carry one mark each. A candidate shall get one mark for correct answer. There will be no negative marking in either of the tests. Nevertheless, candidates are advised not to resort to blind guessing, which may not be of any help to them.

Processing of Result : The scoring of the answer-sheets for both the MAT and the SAT shall be done through the computer. All possible precautions are taken and necessary checks applied while processing the result to  ensure zero error results.


A stipulated number of candidates, on the basis of the merit, shall be called for interview. Normally the interview shall be held during the months of  July and August. Only those candidates who shall be found eligible for interview shall be informed through registered letters about a fortnight in advance at the address given in the Admission Card, by the candidate at the time of National level written examination. NCERT shall not be held responsible for non-receipt of the letter due to postal delay or otherwise.

Place of Interview : Interviews are arranged at various places in the country depending on the number of candidates found eligible from different regions.

Travelling Allowance: The candidates shall be paid second class rail fare for attending the interview. In no case the Air Fare will be paid.

Declaration of Result : The final award shall be declared on the basis of both the National level written examination and the interview. Only the selected candidates shall be informed by registered letters. Marks obtained by the candidates in written Examination or interview shall not be disclosed.

Rechecking : Since the NCERT applies rigorous checks and counterchecks before the declaration of result, no request for re-evaluation or re-checking of scripts will be entertained.

Contacts Addresses

Department of Educational Measurement  and Evaluation
NCERT, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi – 110016
For NTS Examination Inquiry: Phone No. : 011-26560464
For NTS Scholarship Inquiry: Phone No. : 011-26562704
Fax No. : 011-26515382
Website: www.ncert.nic.in

North Eastern Region

  • Directorate of School Education
    Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh
    Arunachal Pradesh

  • Deputy Director
    Director of Secondary Education
    Kahilipara, Assam
    Guwahati-781019 (Assam)

  • Programme Officer (Science)
    Science Unit,
    Directorate of Education (Schools)
    Imphal (Manipur).

  • Sr. Grades Lecturer (NTS Exam)
    Directorate of Educational Research And Training
    Arbuthnot Road,
    Shillong-793011 (Meghalaya).

  • Academic Officer
    M.B.S.E. Office
    Chaltlang, Aizawl

  • Joint Controller of Examinations
    Nagaland Board of School Education
    Post Box No.98.
    Kohima-797001 (Nagaland).

  • Assistant Director (Exam.)
    Department of Education
    Govt. of Sikkim, Tashiling
    Gangtok-737103 (Sikkim)

  • Joint Director
    Abhoy Nagar, P.O.
    Agartala, Tripura-799005 (West)

Eastern region

  • Principal
    State Institute of Education
    Siksha Sadan, Link Road
    Port Blair-744101(A&N Islands)

  • Director
    State Council of Educational Research and Training
    Mahendru, Patna-800006 (Bihar)

  • Secretary
    Jharkhand Intermediate Council Education ,
    Rameshwaram, Bariyartu,
    Dist. Ranchi (Jharkhand).

  • Asstt. Director
    Directorate of TE & S.C.E.R.T.

  • Asstt. Director of School Education (T&E)
    Directorate of School Education, West Bengal
    Bikas Bhawan, 7th Floor
    East Block , Salt Lake City
    Kolkata-700091 (West Bengal)

Northern Region

  • Head, Science and Math Department.
    State Institute of Education
    Chandigarh (U.T.) 160032.

  • Sr. Sc. Counsellor, Science Branch
    Directorate of Education
    Behind L.S.R. College,
    Amar Colony, Lajpat Nagar-IV
    New Delhi-110024.

  • Secretary
    J&K State Board of School
    Education, Rehari Mohalla
    Jammu (J&K).

  • Secretary
    J&K State Board of School
    Education, New Campus, Bemina,
    Srinagar (J&K).

  • Lecturer in Physics, Science Wing
    S.C.E.R.T., Sohna Road
    Opp. Panchayat Bhawan
    Gurgaon-122001 (Haryana).

  • Principal
    State Council of Educational
    Research and Training, RABON
    Solan-173211 (Himachal Pradesh).

  • Sr. Lecturer
    State Institute of Science Education
    SCO 66-67, Sector 17-A

  • Secretary
    Board of Secondary Education
    Ajmer-305001 (Rajasthan).

  • Director
    Bureau of Psychology
    State Council of Educational Research and Training,
    2 Lowther Road
    Allahabad-211001 (UP).

  • Asstt. Director/Sr. Lecturer
    State Council of Educational Research and Training
    At & P.O. Narendra Nagar
    Tehri Garhwal-249175 (Uttaranchal)

Western Region

  • Asstt. Professor
    State Council of Educational Research and Training
    Shankar Nagar,Raipur, Chattishgarh-492001.

  • Headmaster
    Government High School
    Opp. Custom House
    Vaniyawad, Nani Daman-396210

  • Headmaster
    Government High School
    Zanda Chawk,
    Silvassa (Via Vapi-396230)
    Dadra & Nagar Haveli.

  • Deputy Director
    State Institute of Education
    Bardez-403521 (Goa).

  • Chairman
    Gujarat State Examination Board
    Delhi Chakla, R.C. High School
    Ahmedabad-380001 (Gujarat).

  • Senior Lecturer
    Rajya Shiksha Kendra
    Pustak Bhawan “B” Wing,
    Arera Hills
    Bhopal-462023 (M.P.)

  • Commissioner
    Maharashtra State Council of Examinations
    17-Dr. Ambedkar Road
    Pune-411001 (Maharashtra).

Southern Region

  • Deputy Commissioner
    Office of The Director of Govt. Examinations,
    Chapel Road, ABIDS
    Hyderabad-500001 (A.P.)

  • Director
    DSERT, No.4, 100 feet Ring Road
    Bana Sanshankari, 3rd State
    Bangalore-560085 (Karnataka)

  • Liaison Officer (NTS Exam.)
    State Council of Educational Research and Training
    Vidhya Bhavan, Poojappura (P.O.)

  • Asstt. Headmaster
    Government Sr. Secondary School
    Kavaratti Island

  • Joint Director
    Directorate of Education
    New Saram

  • Director
    Directorate of Govt. Examinations
    College Road, Kodambakkam,